Minister Thulas Nxesi submits International Labour Organization convention to deal with violence and harassment in workplace


Department of Employment and Labour: Republic of South Africa

South Africa’s Employment and Labour Minister T.W Nxesi today officially handed over SA’s documents for registration and ratification with the International Labour Organization (ILO’s) convention dealing with violence and harassment in the workplace. 

Minister Nxesi said the documents have been endorsed by the SA government and the instruments will now be submitted for ratification with the Director-General of the International Labour Office of the ILO. He said the submission of ratification documents has been in the making for the past two years. 

“The C190 – provides a solid policy base to fight discrimination and gender based violence. The department in partnership with social partners have now developed a draft code of good practice for comment,” said Minister Nxesi. 

The Minister added that of significance to the ratification was the fact that this coincides with the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and that violence and harassment are a human rights violation and abuse and this instrument (the convention) provides a clear guideline for course of action to deal with the ‘pandemic’. 

According to ILO C190 is important - because violence and harassment in the world of work cannot be tolerated. 

The Convention 190 (C190) provides for protection of workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees as defined. Once a member signs the C190, they commit taking appropriate measures to: 

  • monitor and enforce national laws and regulations regarding violence and harassment in the world of work; 
  • convention shall be binding only upon those members of the International Labour Organization whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General of the International Labour Office; 
  • ensure easy access to appropriate and effective remedies and safe, fair and effective reporting and dispute resolution mechanisms and procedures in cases of violence and harassment in the world of work. 

A country signing C190 has an obligation to ensure enforcement and appropriate remedies.

By submitting the instruments South Africa joins Argentina, Ecuador, Italy, Fiji, Mauritius, Namibia, Somalia, and Uruguay – that have ratified the convention.  

ILO’s SA-based Executive Director Joni Musabayana said the C190 was the first Convention which truly reflect the African continent’s input. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Employment and Labour: Republic of South Africa.

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